It might be Friday the 13th, but there's nothing unlucky about Volume 72. We've got good vibes, lots of laughs, and some great jams to get you through the rest of your work week and send you into the weekend. So kick back and fire up this week's Friday Five!
Hacks Season 2
One of our favorite new comedies from last year is finally back for a second season, so it had to make an appearance in this week's Friday Five. Hacks was a huge breakout hit last year, which came as no surprise given that it was created by Broad City and Good Place alum. Anchored by Jean Smart, Hacks also struck gold with Hannah Einbinder in her first major role, along with smaller roles from comedians like Megan Stalter and Joe Mande. The show can definitely get dark at times, but it was always funny, and was a breath of fresh air on Thursday nights. This season takes the stand-up duo on the road, and while we loved that Season One was set in Vegas, it'll be great to see the main cast in new scenarios. HBO releases the episodes two at a time each week, so at least we get a full hour of comedy, even if we're still always left craving more. While there's a high bar after such a stellar first season, we can't wait to see what the writers cooked up for Season Two.
Like a Rolling Stone
If you're in more of a documentary mood this week, Netflix just released the award-winning doc on the great Rolling Stone writer Ben Fong-Torres. Like a Rolling Stone looks back at the career of the legendary rock journalist, who has written huge stories and interviewed anybody who's anybody in rock n' roll history. Fong-Torres is perhaps most famous to younger generations as the editor in the classic Almost Famous, so it is fun to learn about the actual inspiration behind the character (and, of course, writer/director Cameron Crowe makes an appearance in the documentary.) The doc features incredible interviews and clips from all-time great musicians, and is definitely nostalgic for a time when rock journalism was at the center of music culture. Fong-Torres was essentially a rockstar himself, just working at a magazine! Comedian (and banjo icon) Steve Martin also features heavily in the film, which will always provide some levity. We love music docs, and while this didn't focus on one band in particular, it's really cool to look back at such a seminal part of music (and rock) history.
The Main Squeeze - To Be Determined
Speaking of rocking out, our music pick this week is a new album from some of our local favorites (and friends of the blog), and it really grooves. Whether they're doing YouTube covers, EPs, or live shows, The Main Squeeze is never boring -- and the same can definitely be said about their newest album. As expected, To Be Determined is packed with great guitar solos, killer trumpet parts, and plenty of grooves that will get your feet tapping and your head bobbing. There are a lot of fun lyrics and really exceptional vocals, which effortlessly go from smooth blues into real rock. We already highlighted "Payday" when it came out as a single, but it still holds up as a solid jam. The album features some cool flourishes as well, like the record scratches on the uptempo "When I See Darkness." Whether you want to be up and bopping around or vibing out and relaxing to some blues, this album has got it all. We suggest you listen to it front to back to just let the tracks flow into one another, so you can fully get the mood The Main Squeeze was going for.
If you somehow aren't in the mood to party from The Main Squeeze, maybe Gavin Shapiro's party penguins can do the trick. We love what Shapiro is doing on his Instagram, and it's not just because he is also super into 3D penguins. He creates very fun atmospheres and scenes with 3D-designed penguins (and flamingos), and manages to capture a great vibe in his work. Shapiro is bringing incredibly original animations into the NFT space, and often they have an even deeper meaning than what is on the surface. He's also doing interesting things like creating fun backgrounds that anyone can stream on their TV during a party. We have to also throw a nod to the Flamingo Playground, which is pretty wild, but we really just enjoy his work on the whole. There are a lot of bright colors, upbeat music, and awesome 3D environments, to go with pretty unique movement and camera angles. We could watch the endless scroll of his penguins partying all day long, and we suggest you give him a follow so you can, too.
Sergio Perez Cruises NYC
We might not love all their sponsored drivers, but we have to admit, Red Bull does some great sponsored content for Formula 1, and we have to show some love for their innovation here in the Friday Five. Their latest piece is a video of Sergio Perez driving his F1 car through New York City at pretty incredible speeds, and it's a lot of fun. It's so cool to see how they cleared out blocks and iconic stretches of the city for Perez, and then to see him hit hairpin turns around those blocks. He really opens it up on the highways, and they get some great angles of the skyline and the bridges with the car. Red Bull also leaned into some produced elements, like someone dropping their coffee or the mid-city tire change, which added a nice dose of comedy. Of course, they also had to have Perez whip around a turn between two yellow cabs. The Miami Grand Prix was yet another big step in the F1 boom in the United States, and Red Bull produced this piece in the lead-up to that race. At the rate things are going, we expect to see a lot more great social content around the F1 drivers -- and we definitely aren't complaining.